My husband just got a job and we (him, me, and our 10 month old DS) will be relocating to Chicago this spring/summer. We are looking for a temporary place (1-2 years) to rent while getting to know the city and deciding where we'd like to buy. If possible, we'd like to rent close to his job so commuting can be kept to a minimum. His office is on W. Chicago, but east of the expwy. So, we were looking at Ukranian village and the surrounding areas. Can anyone tell me anything about them? What's it known for? What's it like at night? Is is a walkable neighborhood? We won't have a car so will rely on public trans and feet.
The UV itself is a sort of nebulous area, with some real estate agents extending "Wicker Park" into it, and some expanding UV into what should actually be called Humboldt Park. I believe the "official" term for the neighborhood is West Town, too. So, you should be mindful of exactly where you're talking about-- since in some areas (particularly West of California, but somewhat so West of Western) are block-by-block.
I'd say the heart of UV is between Damen and Western, focused on Chicago but between Grand and Augusta for the most part, but going a little more north in areas to Division. But that's my opinion!
There are some cool indoor playgrounds. Smith Park has good programs (for cheap!) and you're near some major bus lines. If you're counting on riding the El, though, you'd be out of luck. The area is safe and definitely interesting... a mix of immigrants and families and some young people spilling over from Wicker Park. Cute businesses on Chicago, and neat old Ukranian churches around. There's a Dominic's at Chicago and Damen so groceries are pretty handy.
If you're looking "around" UV, I'd say just check out the block. You're fine most areas. I used to live at Mozart and Augusta (one block west of California) and I would NOT recommend that area. Very glad we moved.
Hi there! I have lived all over Chicago, so I love to help people with this :)
I currently live in Wicker Park near North Ave and Leavitt, which is just north and just east of Uk Village but not quite walking distance (for my lazy butt). Chicago Ave has a lot of good restaurants and bars, and some stuff in the neighborhood right around Chicago and Western is walkable (I wouldn't want to live west of Western by more than a block, as it's not as safe as east). However, obv I'm not sure your lifestyle- but the neighborhoods all around Uk Village, Wicker Park, and Noble Square can be a bit dicey, depending. The above poster is right that it's block by block. One will be great and the next very ghetto. If you decide to live in UkVillage, you can take the Chicago or Grand bus east to the blue line el train to get downtown, or take buses to wherever. Hubby would have to take the bus or ride his bike east to the office (I'd take side streets since Chicago Ave is pretty crazy at rush hours). But since your hub's office is east of 94, you don't have to live as far west as the Uk Village. If you lived in Wicker Park or Bucktown but within 4 or 5 blocks of Damen or Ashland, he could ride a bike or hop on the bus going south to the office. I'd prefer that if I were you. The neighborhood that's at Chicago and Ashland area (I think Grand up to Augusta?) is called Noble Square and has some good stuff (south of Grand and west of Damen on Grand --those neighborhoods are dicey and gang-y and gun shot-y randomly), the 'hood just north of Noble Square is East Village (not sure if anyone really calls it that anymore, and maybe the two labels are used interchangeably now?), and north and northeast of that is Wicker Park/Bucktown all the way north to Roscoe Village. As you go north of Grand it gets nicer, and from Western going east as well. The places I mentioned all have reasonable rents and cool stuff to walk to. Make sure you visit at night and on the weekend to be sure you like the feel of the neighborhood you're looking in. They're all good in different ways, and all have drawbacks of course (for example for me, Wicker Park has gotten out of hand with the frat/sorority crowd "woo"-ing and bar hopping, mixed with the gang bangers being noisy on weekends--and I live right near North Ave and hear the traffic at all hours. BUT, there are a ton of restaurants and bars, and the train is super close...).
If you want, feel free to message me with questions or for more help. I have a crazy, somewhat neurotic love for apartment hunting in the city, so I'm happy to give you the heads-up on any property you're considering. Good luck to you!